Slovene media owned by oligarchs, corrupt politicians

first_img Media in Slovenia: among criminals, politicians and “the barbarians” Once praised as a role model country for the Balkans, Slovenia as the most developed part of former Yugoslavia, an EU and Nato member today, is facing many challenges in its media landscape. The transition from a former socialist republic to a parliamentary democracy brought some successes and failures where the media ownership structure seems to remain one of the major blunders, as media owners openly or covertly control editorial policies. During the transition period local oligarchs made a fortune mostly by collaborating with local post-communist politicians in dubious privatisation processes, which was arbitrary and similar to developments in Russia and other transitional countries. An important issue that affects Slovenia’s media landscape nowadays is that almost all mainstream media owners are under criminal investigation for gross crimes by the FBI-like National Bureau of Investigations and Special Prosecutors which deals with corruption, organised crime and terrorism. Some of them were convicted already. Stojan Petrič, owner of the Kolektor industry and construction group, who in 2015 purchased the previously most influential daily Delo and the tabloid with highest circulation Slovenske novice, is under investigation for abusing his position and the trust in his business activity. The police revealed that a group of perpetrators, including Petrič, gained at least 1,8 million euros of illicit money. But his actions as the new owner of Delo are troubling too. Immediately after the takeover he appointed Gregor Knafelc, chief of public relations in Petrič’s main holding company FMR, as acting editor-in-chief of Delo. Knafelc, without a single day of journalistic or editorial experience, consequently fired many of Delo’s media workers, mostly renowned and experienced journalists, and thereby significantly changed the editorial policy of following and covering business related topics. Knafelc was replaced on 1 December 2017 with new acting editor-in-chief, therefore the newspaper will remain without an editor with a full mandate for the next period again. “Loyalty” and “unity” In an unusual interview given in February 2018 to his own newspaper Delo, Petrič said that he expects “loyalty” and “unity” from Delo journalists. He praised the Chinese political system and said that smaller nations should follow the Chinese model. He also announced new media takeovers in Slovenia. Delo today is just a pale shadow of the respected and influential newspaper it once was, comparable to The Times or Le Monde in the UK and France. However, Delo’s credibility crisis did already start in 2005, when Janez Janša’s right-wing government came to power and started meddling intensively with the editorial policy, helped by then owner Boško Šrot, who is serving a sentence of five years and ten months for abuse of office authority in a chain sale trading of a 7.3 per cent stake in the holding Istrabenz in 2007, and who had been given an additional sentence of 5 years in 2014 for abusing his position or trust and for money laundering. Šrot is still in prison. In October 2017 prosecutors filed a request for a court investigation against Stojan Petrič and co-defendants, who denied any wrongdoings. Slovenia’s second largest newspaper Dnevnik is owned by the DZS financial group since 2003. DZS’s main business is the tourism industry. Its owner Bojan Petan is under criminal investigations in Slovenia and other countries for different crimes. He faces up to eight years in prison for the alleged crime of abuse of position or trust in business activity during the privatisation of the Terme Čatež tourist resort which allegedly resulted in dozens of millions of euros of illicit gains and damages to the company. Additionally, he was investigated for organised crime and money laundering by special prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He denied any wrongdoing. Business operations in offshore countries Petan was also co-owner of the major advertising, PR and lobbyist agency Pristop, together with his business partner Franci Zavrl, the founder of Pristop and former owner of the left-leaning weekly magazine Mladina, who is the husband of investigative journalist Anuška Delić who worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on the Panama and Paradise Papers. Both Petan and Zavrl have business operations in offshore countries and have been investigated by the police for the alleged misappropriation of dozens of millions of euros. The Slovenian elite criminal police conducted house searches in Petan’s and Zavrl/Delić apartments and many other offices in June 2014. Also this investigation is ongoing, and the accused deny all wrongdoing. Finally, Bojan Petan is well connected, and his business empire serves as a safe haven for many former intelligence and government officials. Sebastjan Selan, former chief director of the main Slovene intelligence agency Sova became one of the most important managers in his business empire. Some other former spies work for DZS, too. Meanwhile former government spokesperson Darijan Košir became the news deputy editor of Dnevnik and simultaneously runs his own PR company. A criminal case against Petan is still pending. He denies any wrongdoing. But prosecutors dropped the charges against Zavrl in this case. However, this was not the only close encounter of Zavrl with police investigators. He was investigated by Finnish and Luxembourg police for alleged money-laundering of millions of euros in the Patria arms deals*, which was one of the major scandals in Slovenia during the past decade. Also these criminal charges have been dropped. Former Prime minister Janez Janša, who was together with Zavrl arrested in 1988 by the Yugoslav People’s Army in a “Roška trial” which triggered the so called “Slovenian spring”, a popular movement which lead to democratic changes and Slovenia’s succession movement in then Yugoslavia, was convicted to two years in prison for bribery in the Patria deal. The conviction of Janša was confirmed by all of Slovenia’s regular courts, including the Supreme Court. However, the Constitutional Court later repealed these judgements and demanded retrial in the Patria bribery, then a statute of limitations had passed. Illicit gains The third mainstream daily Večer was purchased from Delo by Uroš Hakl and Sašo Todorovič. They paid just one million euro for this newspaper in 2014, but the deal was mostly financed by debt and they immediately started to sell some real-estate owned by the newspaper to finance the takeover. Todorovič is the former chief executive officer of T-2 telecommunication provider. Hakl is the former director at the Pristop PR agency and was also investigated for the alleged abuse of office and official duty. Hakl and co-perpetrators allegedly made more than a million euros of illicit gains from state aid, that was given to the most impoverished Slovene region. Hakl is facing up to eight years in prison. The criminal case against the co-owner of Večer is currently under court investigation, and he denies all wrongdoing, too. Another media mogul is Martin Odlazek, who is also a printing and waste management “baron”, and who was sentenced to six months in prison for abuse of position and trust in business activity in 2013. He served his sentence under house arrest. But his criminal past didn’t prevent him from expanding his media empire and starting the new tabloid Svet24 and many other weekly magazines, including the purchase of the right-leaning weekly Reporter. He also owns several Slovene radio stations. In Slovenia’s television landscape the public broadcasting service RTV Slovenija continues to serve as a political playground for major political parties who implement their influence on the editorial policy though the programme council where 21 of 29 members are elected by the parliament. A recent example happened in July 2017 when new CEO Director General of RTV Slovenia Igor Kadunc attempted to replace the director of the tv programmeLjerka Bizilj for violating editorial standards as she supported news-editor Jadranka Rebernik who approved the promotional programme of the neo-Ustasha Croatian singer Marko Perković ‘Thompson’ in prime-time. Kadunc’s proposal was then repealed by the programme council with a majority of votes from right-wing council members. This case confirms that politics are still controlling public broadcaster editorial policy through many proxies. The owner of the majority shares of the smaller private television station Planet TV and 100 per cent shares of the widely read online outlet Siol.net is the state owned major telecommunication company Telekom Slovenije which again offers many channels for political influence behind the scenes. The small party television station Nova24TV, founded by the right-wing SDS that is led by Janez Janša, on the other hand received significant financial investment from Hungary. Some Hungarian media owners who are close friends of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban invested at least 800.000 euros in this small TV station and in exchange received significant capital shares in a media outlet that is constantly spreading right-wing political propaganda. Also SDS’ weekly magazine Demokracija is owned by friends of Orban today. Janez Janša, whose party is a member of the European People’s Party, is closely affiliated with Orban and his anti-immigration and anti-liberal politics. But the seismic shift in the Slovene media landscape happened in July 2017. Pro Plus company was the owner of the tv channels POP TV and Kanal A who are reaching 70 per cent of the viewers in the Slovene market and who receive an even higher share of advertising revenues in Slovenia. The company was bought by United Group, owned by the New York based private equity firm KKR (Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts) for 230 million euros. Before that, Pro Plus belonged to Central European Media Enterprises (CME) incorporated in the tax haven of Bermuda. “The Barbarians at the Gate” Two founders of KKR, Henry Kravis and George Roberts are known as inventors of leveraged buy-outs and their take-over of the RJR Nabisco company in the US was made into a Hollywood movie in 1993: The Barbarians at the Gate. However, these “barbarians” find strong support for lobbying in the Balkans in KKR Global Institute chairman David Petraeus, former director of the CIA and commander of US military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served also in the Nato peace operation in the Balkans. Petraeus visited Slovene Prime Minister Miro Cerar on 18 May 2017 and lobbied for the purchase of Slovenia’s major television company which also owns the most visited online outlet: 24ur.com. Additionally, KKR bought Croatia’s most watched tv channel Nova TV simultaneously, but Croatian regulators did not approve this part of the deal. Minority shareholder and chairman of United Group, Dragan Šolak met premier Cerar on 19 April 2017, too. Without a doubt, after Petraeus’ lobby work the Slovene Agency for Protection of Competition Protection Agency (CPA) did probably greenlight the 230 million euros KKR deal despite the fact that such an investment is creating a vertical integration in the media and telecommunication markets as it bears the danger of a monopoly in many other local markets. Moreover, the appointment of CPA’s new director Andrej Matvoz raises many questions about his independence. Despite him lacking any experience in this demanding field of law, he was appointed by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology as acting director. But the Slovene court later declared the decision as illegal. Additionally, the Slovene Commission for the Prevention of Corruption filed charges against Matvoz for cheating in an expert exam to the Slovene police. Nevertheless, all these serious questions didn’t keep the ruling political coalition from confirming Matvoz in the parliament. Intensive lobbying is also confirmed by a decision of Slovenia’s Ministry of Culture which formally determined that Pro Plus is not a related party of POP TV and Kanal A programmes which are owned by Pro Plus with 100 per cent of the shares. Thus, the Ministry of Culture excluded itself from making any decision about the United Group (KKR) takeover in its role as a regulator of the media industry. United Group, registered in the Netherlands, also owns the SBB and Telemach telecommunications company, Sportklub, Total TV, Net TV and many other media companies in the region of former Yugoslavia. It reaches 1.74 million households and made 488 million euros of revenues in the last year. It is one of the most important telecommunication and media providers in the Balkans, offering also mobile phone services, and it airs the N1 TV channel, the local partner of CNN in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. The Serbian-Slovenian minority owner of United Group, Dragan Šolak – one of the richest man in the Balkans – regularly operates in offshore countries. According to the Croatian weekly magazine Nacional*, its subsidiary United Media with headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland, managed to funnel 6.7 million euros out of Croatia to secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein and Cyprus for broadcasting licenses without paying any significant tax. Additionally, KKR and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are hiding their ownership of United Group behind a complex corporate structure with more than a dozen offshore companies in tax havens of Delaware, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg. Among such a concentration of media owners with a criminal past and present, with corrupted politicians as well as aggressive Wall Street barons it’s almost impossible to work as a professional independent journalist in Slovenia. Many experienced journalists already left their profession or were forced to leave. On the other hand, a new generation of young journalists seems to be fully adapted to business interests and the goals of new media owners. Professional solidarity among Slovenian journalists lies in the long forgotten past. The professional and personal ethics of journalists who are serving these criminals, politicians and “barbarians” tend to reach new lows again and again.By Blaž Zgaga for European Centre for Press & Media Freedom * The Patria scandal was unearthed in 2008 in collaboration between Finnish journalist Magnus Berglund (YLE) and author of this article. ** The investigative story in Nacional was written by the author of this article. The author of this article started his journalistic career at the national desk of the newspaper Delo in 1993. In 1998 he joined Večer where he spent the next ten years. In 2007 he initiated the petition against censorship and political pressure on journalists which was signed by 571 Slovene journalists, one quarter of all professional journalists in the country. Because of mobbing and censorship he quit Večer and works as a freelance journalist since 2008. He is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and one of the Information Heroes of Reporters Without Borders. His articles are regularly published in the Croatian weekly magazine Nacional. Receive email alerts SloveniaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Conflicts of interestJudicial harassmentEconomic pressure May 21, 2021 Find out more Slovenian Prime minister Miro Cerar meets Dragan Šolak, chairman of the United Group (copyright: Tamino Petelinsek, STA) RSF_en June 2, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Slovenia Help by sharing this information March 16, 2021 Find out more Six press freedom NGOs ask the European Commission to respond publicly to Slovenian Prime Minister’s attacks on the mediacenter_img News A European Union member since 2004, Slovenia successfully transitioned to democracy but has not been as successful in defending press freedom. Media ownership is nowadaysoverly concentrated in the hands of oligarchs and corrupt politicians, endangering editorial independence.Reporters Without Borders (RSF) publishes a report by Blaz Zgaga. SloveniaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsMedia independence Conflicts of interestJudicial harassmentEconomic pressure Organisation Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU February 13, 2018 – Updated on February 14, 2018 Slovene media owned by oligarchs, corrupt politicians to go further News News Public media independence under threat in the Czech Republic and Slovenialast_img read more

University Registrar plans Commencement Ceremony

first_imgThe University’s 173rd Commencement ceremony will take place in Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. with 16 other diploma ceremonies to follow that afternoon at 2 p.m.Chuck Hurley, the University registrar, said there will be 20 different ceremonies this weekend between the undergraduate, graduate and University ceremonies along with the Commencement Mass.Dominique DeMoe | The Observer “3,096 total diplomas will be awarded, with 2,066 undergraduates, and 1,030 graduate diplomas given,” Hurley said.Commencement was first moved to the Notre Dame stadium in 2010, Hurley said.“The ceremony was in the stadium in the 1950s and then for a couple years in the ’60s. … In the late 1960s they moved it to the Joyce Center,” Hurley said. “It was in the Joyce Center from then until 2009, and after 2009 we moved to the stadium because it was just so many folks wanting to attend Commencement.”Hurley said having the main ceremony in the stadium allows students to invite as many family members and guests as needed.“A couple of years ago we had a student who was the first person in her family to graduate from college and she brought 90 family members to Commencement. So that was wonderful to be able to accommodate people in that way,” Hurley said.While hosting graduation in Notre Dame Stadium has its benefits, there are certain downsides to hosting commencement outside, Hurley said.“The complexity of the stadium of course is that we are outdoors and we are subject to weather,” Hurley said. “So, we can run into a situation where we have to move inside to Purcell Pavilion if severe weather approaches, and then we are limited again in tickets. We do have ponchos for our graduates if it’s raining and we do remain in the stadium if it’s a light to moderate rain … umbrellas are allowed for guests if needed, but it’s going to be a bright day.”This year’s ceremonies will be the first to utilize the buildings from the Campus Crossroads project, which opened in January 2018.“Some of the 2 p.m. diploma ceremonies will take place in Crossroads facilities — one in Corbett Family Hall and two in Duncan Student Center,” Hurley said. “That’s a big advantage simply because we can keep people for those afternoon ceremonies close to the stadium. It really helps out with our guests in particular with mobility issues because we don’t have to have them go as far.”This year, the Commencement address will be given by Brazilian judge Sérgio Moro.Hurley said he advises guests to arrive at the stadium anytime between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., but preferably earlier.“The last two years we had Secret Service because we had Vice President [Joe] Biden and then Vice President [Mike] Pence,” Hurley said. “There’s no secret service this year so we just don’t have that element. The gates open at 8 a.m. commencement morning, and we do show a number of videos in the stadium prior to the procession that feature our graduating students, so I think it’s best to arrive as early as possible because then you get to see all the videos and graduating seniors.”Tags: 2018 Commencement, Commencement 2018, Commencement ceremony, Commencement Issue 2018, Notre Dame Stadium, University Registrarlast_img read more

2016 Flavor of Georgia Winners

first_imgAmanda Wilbanks, owner of Gainseville’s Southern Baked Pie Company, baked her way to the grand prize with her caramel pecan pie in the University of Georgia’s 2016 Flavor of Georgia Contest. The annual contest, conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products. A team of food industry experts and grocery buyers chose Wilbanks’ caramel pecan pie as the best of 33 finalists. They rated the products on qualities including innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor. In addition to the grand prize, Wilbanks also won first place in the confections category. Governor Nathan Deal, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean and Director Sam Pardue congratulated the category and grand prizewinners as part of Georgia Agriculture Awareness Day at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta. “We had over 100 products submitted this year and some of the toughest competition we’ve seen in the contest’s 10 year history,” said Sharon P. Kane, Flavor of Georgia contest coordinator. “The 33 products represented are truly the best of the best.” For more information about Southern Baked Pie Company, formerly known as Buttermilk Pie Company, visit www.buttermilkpieco.com.The winners are listed below by prize name, product name, company name, company representatives and town. Grand Prize Winner and Confections: Southern Baked Pie Company (formerly Buttermilk Pie Company, Caramel Pecan Pie, Amanda Wilbanks, Gainesville People’s Choice Award: Carroll’s Sausage and Meats, Medium Smoke Link Sausage, Johnny Walker, Ashburn Barbecue Sauces: Joe Kem’s BBQ, Joe Kem’s Barbecue Sauce, Joe Kem Lacey, MoultrieBeverages: Paulk’s Pride 100 percent White Muscadine Juice, Muscadine Products Corporation, Erin Boettger, WrayDairy Products: Revolution Gelato, Nekkid Espresso Dairy-Free Gelato, Revolution Gelato, Jared Olkin, Atlanta Honey: Bruce’s Nut N Honey Farm/The Honey Shack, Papa’s Private Selection Honey 100 percent Pure, Raw, Unfiltered; Ben Bruce, Homerville Jams and Jellies: Wisham Jellies, Wild Mayhaw Pepper Jelly, Eric Wisham, Tifton Marinades, Sauces and Rubs: The Salt Table, Leek, Chive and Onion Dip and Seasoning Blend, David and Carol Legasse, SavannahMeat and Seafood: Hunter Cattle Company, Hot Georgia Night Sausage, Del Ferguson, BrookletMiscellaneous: Beautiful Briny Sea, Pocketful of Starlight Vanilla Sugar, AtlantaSalsas, Chutneys and Condiments: Abby J’s Gourmet, Abby J’s Blackhawk Field to Fork Sweet Fire Pickles, Abby Jackson, ClarkesvilleSnack Foods: Marsh Cabin Bakery, Kim’s Cheese Straws—Pecan Cheddar, Kim Kaiser, Statesboro Showcase events like the 2016 Flavor of Georgia competition help entrepreneurs spread the word about their products. Many participants have landed spots in regional and national grocery chains like Whole Foods, Ingles, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Kroger and Harvey’s. Category winners received an award and membership in the state Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program, statewide notoriety and bragging rights. All winners and finalists earn the right to have their products stamped with the 2016 Flavor of Georgia logo. They also gain exposure to grocery buyers and food industry professionals who judge the final round of the contest. The Flavor of Georgia food product contest is sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development in partnership with Gourmet Foods International, Georgia Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, the Office of the Governor, Walton EMC, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. More information about this year’s contest can be found at flavorofga.com or by following @Flavor_of_GA on Twitter. For photos of the event, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ugacommunications/albums/72157663387726954.last_img read more

An examination of Indonesia’s death toll: Could it be higher?

first_imgSome of these administrations have even gone a step further by revealing the number of fatalities among suspected patients.Banten, a neighboring province to Jakarta, revealed on its website that as of Tuesday 144 of its 1,382 PDPs had died. East Java also reported 235 fatalities among its 2,769 PDPs and 53 among its 18,509 ODPs. These figures are higher than both regions’ number of fatalities among confirmed cases, which reached 41 and 90 deaths, respectively, as of Tuesday.Jakarta does not provide such data but has disclosed on its website that 1,666 people had been buried according to COVID-19 protocols as of April 24. The figure is higher than the city’s official death toll of 370 as of Tuesday.Central Java, meanwhile, does not provide the exact number but rather a map of the spread of such fatalities, which according to The Jakarta Post’s estimation could amount to around 200, while its official death toll is 58. Yogyakarta recorded seven fatalities among its suspected patients, while its official count is seven. South Sulawesi reported 81 of its suspected patients had died despite recording only 37 official deaths, although it has published a disclaimer that the former figure also includes those who later test negative. The actual number of COVID-19 deaths in Indonesia may be substantially higher than officially reported as several regions have recorded hundreds of fatalities among patients under surveillance (PDPs), who are suspected of having contracted the highly contagious coronavirus.Patients under surveillance refer to people with COVID-19 symptoms who have not been confirmed as having the disease, meaning that they are waiting either to be tested or for their test results to come back.The central government’s daily count of fatalities, at 773 as of Tuesday, does not include all PDPs who have died. And it was only recently that the government started announcing the number of PDPs and people under observation (ODPs) nationwide. Previously, only local administrations would reveal such figures. “ODPs and PDPs who died might have tested positive for COVID-19,” biostatistics researcher at the University of Indonesia’s (UI) School of Public Health, Iwan Ariawan, said. “Therefore, it is important [for authorities] to disclose how many of the ODPs and PDPs who died had been tested and later turned out to be positive, not only COVID-19 patients who have died.”In its latest weekly situation report on Indonesia, the World Health Organization said that as of April 11, it had updated the guidance for reporting COVID-19 deaths, in which a COVID-19 death was defined as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there was a clear alternative cause of death that could not be related to COVID-19.”Based on this definition, cumulative deaths from people who had or may have had COVID-19 should be reported as COVID-19 related deaths,” the report said.The government’s spokesperson for COVID-19 affairs, Achmad Yurianto, said he was not aware of such a guideline. He said the tally of deaths he was announcing daily only included people who had tested positive for the virus, which was reported by hospitals. He said that even if Indonesia was to announce fatalities among suspected patients, the figures would be separated from those of confirmed cases.Other countries have begun to revise their death toll linked to COVID-19. New York, the hardest-hit city in the United States, for instance, revised in mid-April its official COVID-19 death toll to include victims presumed to have died from lung diseases but never tested, resulting in a 60 percent spike, Reuters reported.China also revised its death toll by adding some 1,290 deaths in Wuhan, the city where the virus first emerged in December, Bloomberg said, citing Chinese state media reports.The late reporting of deaths was attributed to several reasons, including the fact that some patients had died at home without seeking treatment or being tested for the virus and the late and incomplete reporting by medical workers and institutions overwhelmed by the outbreak.”It would be better if fatalities among ODPs and PDPs [in Indonesia] were also announced. However, I don’t think 100 percent of the fatalities would certainly be due to COVID-19,” epidemiologist at Padjadjaran University, Panji Hadisoemarto said, warning of overestimation.Read also: Govt claims Jakarta, epicenter of Indonesia’s COVID-19 outbreak, has flattened the curveSo far 9,511 of 62,544 people who have been tested in Indonesia have been confirmed to have the virus, a positive testing rate of 15.2 percent as of Tuesday.Persahabatan Central General Hospital, a referral hospital for COVID-19 patients in Jakarta, said 65 percent of PDPs it was treating had tested positive. While the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology said between 20 and 30 percent of the specimens it processed daily came back positive.Nevertheless, experts agree that fatalities among suspected patients paint the possibility of Indonesia recording a higher number of deaths than it is currently reporting because of the lack of testing and a testing backlog. This remains a problem in the country, despite calls from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to boost testing capacity to 10,000 tests per day.”Local administrations need to statistically verify the PDP fatalities into groups: how many had not been tested, were waiting for their results and were tested positive or negative,” said Iqbal Ridzi Fahdri Elyazar, disease surveillance and biostatistics researcher at the Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit. “They need to provide this public information because it’s important for assessing the severity of the disaster and evaluating their control measures.”Iwan of the UI, meanwhile, said the government would need data on suspected patients’ deaths to evaluate how it had been handling suspected patients.Read also: COVID-19: Indonesia claims daily testing capacity increase to 12,000Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) spokesperson Halik Malik said such data would help hospitals evaluate their services and also act as a warning for the public not to undermine the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak to avoid complacency.”Because of late testing results, the IDI is recommending the need for a new policy in handling patients under surveillance,” Halik said. “There’s no need to wait for [polymerase chain reaction] PCR test results; [hospitals] can treat the patients as COVID-19 patients with clinical criteria […] Otherwise, there’ll be many whose conditions will deteriorate while waiting for their test results and not receiving treatment as COVID-19 patients.”Persahabatan Hospital spokesperson Erlina Burhan told the Post on Monday that the hospital was treating PDPs according to COVID-19 protocols until proven otherwise. She acknowledged, however, in an online discussion on April 17, that the testing backlog was a problem.”We should be receiving results in two days, but in reality […] we sometimes receive them in five to seven days. This is making things quite difficult, especially when the patients are in a severe condition,” Erlina said, adding that around 10 percent of the hospital’s COVID-19 patients needed intensive care and ventilators.Wiku Adisasmito, an expert with Indonesia’s COVID-19 task force, said in an April 22 online press briefing to address international media, that limitations in early detection, coupled with tardy diagnostics, had led to the country’s high mortality rate, but he gave an assurance that the government had been improving the country’s laboratory capacity.”Improvements in the quality of data also need to be made, so that mortality rate data can become more reliable,” he said.– Fiqih Prawira Adjie contributed to this storyTopics :last_img read more

Digital devices make little difference for primary kids, says study

first_imgNZ Herald 21 May 2016Family First Comment: No surprises. Perhaps the a Education Ministry should have done their homework a bit better before forcing parents to fork out for expensive (and optional) technology.The boom in iPads and other technologies used in the classroom makes little difference to children’s achievement in their primary years, a new study says.The study compared two classes of 8-year-old children – one with digital devices and the other tech-free.It found tests of literacy comprehension at the beginning and end of term showed similar improvements.“In the Year 4 class the results were very similar, so it didn’t matter whether there was technology or not, they made similar gains,” said study author Dr Jenny Poskitt.However, the study – to be published in the next edition of the Australian Journal of Middle Schooling – found significant gains from technology as children got older.“In the Year 5-6, the technology class made three and four times the gains, so they were significantly better than the non-technology,” said Dr Poskitt, senior lecturer in education at Massey University.The study comes against a backdrop of increasing questions internationally about the role of technology in the classroom.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11642209Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Venezuelan Youth Symphony Orchestra donates $38,000 to UN fund against torture

first_img Share Share 19 Views   no discussions InternationalNewsPrintRegional Venezuelan Youth Symphony Orchestra donates $38,000 to UN fund against torture by: – October 10, 2011 Sharecenter_img Venezuela will donate US 38,000 dollars to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. This amount was collected during a concert performed by the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony Orchestra in Geneva, Switzerland, on the occasion of the UN Universal Periodic Review of human rights, Venezuela is participating in this review next October 07. Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Nicolás Maduro, thanked to all those who made possible the particpation on the Venezuelan orchestra in the concert labeled “Let’s have a more human humankind”, performed on the current Tuesday 04 and Wednesday 05 in Geneva.“We believe in the construction of a human homeland, in the construction of a great Latin American homeland. Thus, we bring you a little bit of the deepest love and the sensibility of our people, through our youth” said Maduro.Press ReleaseEmbassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the Commonwealth of Dominica Sharing is caring! Tweetlast_img read more

Roger Federer, Angelique Kerber cautious on new Australian Open tie-break rule

first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil But the German world number two, who was beaten 9-7 in the deciding set of last year’s Australian Open semi-final by Simona Halep, also said she could see both sides of the debate.“It might be easier because you can save energy, on the other side it is a tradition to play the advantage set,” she said.“Let’s see how it works this year.”Among the other Slams, Wimbledon will use final set tie-breaks at 12-12 starting from 2019, the US Open plays a traditional tie-break at 6-6 and the French Open does not use a final set tie-break.“The funny thing is we have four different formats in four Slams, so it is important to remind yourself what’s going on and which one it is,” said Federer.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next But Federer, aiming for his third successive Australian Open title and seventh overall, said he was personally “a bit torn” between the options.“I am okay with any format really,” he said. “Thing is, when it goes to six-all in the fifth, you’ve had plenty of chances to win it, or lose it, so from that standpoint how it ends is secondary in my opinion.”Kerber — who has based her game on superior physical fitness — suggested her advantage could be diluted by shortened deciders in Melbourne, where she won her first Slam in 2016.“I like physical matches and if you come here to Australia you have be really fit,” she said. “With the weather, the conditions, it’s really hot and humid and you have to ready for that.“I have no idea if I like (the new rule) or not, we will see.”ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View comments World No.1 Simona Halep fit and rested after ‘scary’ back injury Switzerland’s Roger Federer volleys during his match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, Sunday Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Trevor Collens)Star players Roger Federer and Angelique Kerber have cautiously welcomed new tie-break rules for the deciding set at the Australian Open.The year’s opening Grand Slam, starting January 14, will for the first time feature an extended tie-break in the final set when the score reaches 6-6, rather than a traditional full set.ADVERTISEMENT To win the decisive tie-break, a player will need to be the first to 10 with an advantage of at least two points.The move means all four Slams now use different rules, with only the French Open holding off from introducing a tie-break in the decider.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSpeaking at the Hopman Cup in Perth this week, Federer — who said he had been asked for his opinion on the change by tournament officials — admitted marathon final sets would be missed by some.“We will miss the 70-68 in the fifth, so that’s a pity,” he said, referring to the famous final-set marathon between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010. LATEST STORIES Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more